Monday, December 5, 2022


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Is This The Change BKC Was Waiting To See?

The Ascent Claims No Ownership Over This Image.

By: Shreyan Gorantala

How would you feel if you lived beside a river that had deteriorated into a stinking sewage drain? Angry and frustrated, I am sure. Sadly, the residents of the Bandra East in general, and the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in particular, have had to deal with this environmental crisis for decades. And I should know. I happen to be one of those residents. My family has recently moved into the Bandra Kurla Complex which has become our primary residence. Based on what I observe daily, the biggest culprit is plastics.  

Plastics. A word so strong that it could ruin an entire environment. Indeed, it almost did. If it wasn’t for the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) and its efforts to clean up the polluted Mithi River, trash and plastic would still be floating in it. 

 The Mithi River is crucial to the community of BKC, and Bandra East. It is the longest of the four rivers in Mumbai and served an important environmental function. According to Wikipedia’s entry on the Mithi River, It is also less well known that the Mahim bay area, where Mithi River meets Arabian Sea is a nominated bird sanctuary where migratory birds come for nesting. This part is full of mangroves.” Indeed, the Mithi River at one time was filled with mangroves, which played an important ecological role in preventing soil and water erosion. Mangroves also supported birdlife. Migrating birds from as far away as Siberia were once known to congregate on the banks of the Mithi River in the winter months. According to the World Journal of Environmental Biosciences, The Mangroves along the path of the Mithi River, especially at the Mahim Creek, act as natural lungs for the city. They are part of the natural ecology which is biological in nature, and cannot be uprooted and substituted with artificial gardens.” 

Apart from the environmental impact upon the natural world, the Mithi River was hugely important to human life. Wikipedia also states that,When the river was not as polluted as it is today, it used to serve as an important storm water drain for Mumbai.” Unfortunately, the use of the river changes dramatically. As the population of the neighbourhood grew, housing construction proliferated. Multiplied residential colonies mushroomed. Snazzy high-rise apartment buildings sprouted. Lax legislation and careless enforcement of environment rules, gradually created conservation disaster. Indeed, Wikipedia also mentions, “but as it has been used as a sewer over the years, its importance as a storm water drain has reduced.” Misuse and abuse of the river’s potential has made it a callamati rather than an asset. More information from Wikipedia provides the knowledge that, “on the contrary, it poses as a hazard during high tide bringing polluted water into the city and flooding it.” The river can no longer support natural life such as amphibians like frogs which ate up the pesty mosquitoes that bothered the residents or migratory birds that added to the natural beauty and visual interest of the area. The river mouth and the rich mangroves in the area began degrading gradually.

The ruined Mithi River today stands as a silent symbol of deliberate and wanton environmental destruction. The destruction began as a result of population expansion, construction work such as the Metro Project, and expansion of urban areas. But the time for change had come. Just when it seemed that the Mithi River was beyond redemption, the BMC finally took notice and decided to take charge of the situation. According to Kalpana Pathak of the Mint, dated 28th August 2021, the UN provided support and helped collaborate with the BMC to start the global UN project. The project’s goal was to eradicate trash and plastic from the river.

I asked some students in Ascend International School about their thoughts on the project as their school is in the vicinity of the river. I wondered if they noticed any change since the time the project was launched publicly in 2018. Had the BMC shared any information with the students or was it a silent project? An eighth-grader named Veer Gondal, who has studied in Ascend for eight years, was happy to comment on the subject. He had watched the river change colour over the years and emit a nasty smell. Describing his experience of the river, he said, “Whenever I passed by the river, I noticed that the water was brown and polluted, and I was always quite puzzled and disgusted. The floating cans and the dead fish tormented me. Coming back after the lockdown, the impact is major and clearly visible. The water is much cleaner, and you can easily see the difference from three years back; now it looks like water. Formerly, it simply looked like a sewage drain.” 

Gondal’s statement provides evidence of the fact that the government is serious about cleaning up the Mithi River and protecting its environment. It also wants to teach the community about the problem and what they can do to help fix the issue in order to make the global project successful. 

Gondal added, “I think I first became aware of this project when I was in the third grade. Somebody had given us an educational talk on the Mithi River and the UN project. We (the students) also collaborated on the project and conducted experiments with the organization that sponsored the talk. The project gives hope, as the entire community believed that the Mithi River could not be cleaned up. It is good to see the current state, know that the project is possible and that we can successfully help our ecosystem.” Gondal’s testimony gives insight into the BMC’s efforts to educate community members about the project. The only goal is to make the Mithi River clean again. 

Yohaan Dalal, another grade eight student, shared his feelings about the river. Dalal alluded to the monsoon seasonal flooding that occurs in the vicinity of Ascend International School — a direct result of the fact that the Mithi River no longer serves as a storm drain. In regards to the UN-funded BMC project, he too was pleased to finally have the opportunity to express his thoughts about an issue dear to his heart for he is deeply involved in matters pertaining to sustainability.  He said, “I feel that the river is mainly polluted due to construction work and lack of awareness of the ecosystem in and around the Mithi river. Luckily, after returning from lockdown, we have seen a huge positive change. I am hoping this project will continue, to make the Mithi river perfectly clean and then be extended to other rivers in Mumbai.” Gondal and Dalal’s testimonies are proof that change and transformation has started becoming visible in the Mithi River. 

Arnav Gorantala, a grade ten student, also stated that he was happy with the progress of the Mithi River and its current look. However, he was less optimistic than the others and was worried that human carelessness would destroy the purity of the water. He was quick to point out, “Even if it looks clean now, I don’t feel it will continue to remain clean. Most likely, it will get polluted again because of the waste chemicals that are constantly dumped in the water. Construction work nearby and the continuation of the Metro project will further contribute to its pollution. That said, this is a great initiative. I hope that it can enable the Mithi river to stay clean. I hate to sound pessimistic, but I don’t feel that this will be possible.

These testimonies bear witness to the impact of the government’s plan and progress. However, they make questions flow, such as: How long will the government’s project continue? Are they taking the Mithi rand the dying fish seriously? With other important government projects, like the Metro and vaccination drives taking priority, how will they ensure that the Mithi River remains in focus?

The BKC community are worried about upcoming challenges. How will the river look? Could other government projects ruin their hopes for the Mithi River? Is this really the best way? Or is there something more and better to ensure continued consciousness of environmental protection?

The Global-run project is only a starting point but cannott be the only one. On-going measures should be taken to ensure that the problem doesn’t recur. For example, strict legislation should be passed to prevent waste-dumping. Violaters should be severely prosecuted and fined to ensure the implementation of new environmental laws. Furthermore, this initiative should be entended to focus on other rivers as the Mithi is not the only one in the city. There are other rivers in Mumbai, and the government must ensure that our ecosystem remains alive and pristine in order to save them from similar destruction. State measures should ensure that both residents, and administrators, keep up their enthusiasm to be successful in maintaining our goal of sustaining a safe, clean, and preserved ecosystem in Mumbai.  

Travel in the UK for Indians.

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by Neel Gupta

Travel is opening in India! British citizens can now travel to India but they will have to undergo quarantine for 7 days at minimum and take COVID-19 tests before exiting quarantine. This rule was published a couple of days after the UK eased travel restrictions for double vaccinated Indian citizens.

Air traffic could possibly reduce in to India after festival ‘Diwali’ as most families, as crowding and gatherings can lead to a potential spike in COVID-19 cases.  There has also been tension between the UK and India over the Indian-made AstraZeneca covid vaccination. The UK used to refuse to recognise the Indian vaccine ‘Covishield’ even though the doses were identical to the ones given to millions of UK citizens.

BBC News states that “According to a release by the Indian government, earlier guidelines dated 17 February will now be applicable to all travellers arriving in the country from the United Kingdom”.

If you are travelling to the UK with a double dose of the Covishield Vaccine you will no longer need to quarantine in the UK, this rule also applies to other Vaccines approved by the UK such as Pfizer, SpikeVax, and Johnson & Johnson.

Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, Posted from his official Twitter handle, “No quarantine for Indian travellers to UK [who are] fully vaccinated with Covishield or another UK-approved vaccine from 11 October. Thanks to Indian government for close cooperation over last month.”


Singhal, Ashok. “UK Recognises Indian Vaccine Certificate: No Quarantine for Covishield-Vaccinated Travellers from Oct 11.” India Today, 7 Oct. 2021, 

“Covid: India Withdraws 10-Day Quarantine for UK Nationals.” BBC News, BBC, 14 Oct. 2021, 

The Disciple – A Review

By Anya Daftary

I recently watched the Disciple, a Marathi movie on Netflix. The film was written and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, and is only his 2nd film yet. The story follows that of Sharad Nerulkar, a student of Hindustani music. Set amongst the backdrop of Mumbai in the 2000s, the film depicts the eternal struggle and quest for a classical artist to find their worth. The process of the art is intrinsically woven into the fibres of a kalakar’s (artist) daily life, and their overall world.

 The film depicts a musician’s journey of age-old traditions in today’s dramatically different cultural climate. It depicts the tradition that somewhat survives like gurusisya parampara, attempts at riyaaz and devoting oneself wholly to music. While outlining Sharad’s story on its own, Tamhane showcases the changes and the adaptation of music through secretly recorded tapes of Maa an older musician with much gyaan to baato, a now-gone but seemingly influential musician — specifically on Sharad. Her recordings divulge into the art form, the focus, the discipline, the subtleties, the relevance of an audience and how beyond everything, this art form can only be understood by having a deep desire to understand it and only it. 

But, that still isn’t enough. While making reference to the purification that music underwent in a post-colonial rule. The part that resonated with me most was how today, for an artist, it is impossible to live and learn music, to unreservedly be submerged within the art form, the tradition and the internal struggle. As a student of the same, the ocean of knowledge is so extensive, deep and wide, that it seems futile to even attempt to set sail. Namita Devidayal, the author of Music Room and Vilayat Khan: The Sixth String, once in an article describes her own journey within the Jaipur Gharana, how after going all the way to Princeton, she returned to continue her music. However, after a year, she stopped. To practice the arts, one must become the arts. I once read a saying, I can’t quite remember who said it — something along the lines of — “If I can sing one sa correctly, my life and my journey in music would be complete. The strive for that one note, the one perfect shadaja, is all a musician can ask for. But, the changing cultural climate wrapped into the state of the economy forces artists to adapt and lead a drastically different life in a different dimension without one way or another, eternally stuck in the quest and the world. 

The arts have saved me, but I wonder if they will even survive long enough to save someone else. 

Nationalism vs Patrotism

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by Manavi Nag

With all the recent turmoil that India has been facing from the ongoing Famer’s Protests, the consequent jailing of activists such as Disha Ravi and even journalists, have led to many instances where the lines between patriotism and nationalism are blurred. 

What exactly are patriotism and nationalism, and how are they different from one and another? Where does one draw the line?

What is patriotism?

Patriotism is a deep pride and love for one’s country. It embodies a sense of attachment, devotion and service one has to their country and is usually harmless for the most part. Examples of Patriotism are evident in  sporting events when fans are cheering passionately for their country to win. However, Patriotism does recognise the mistakes and shortcomings of the country, despite having a deep love for the same country. Patriotism in practice allows people to be open to discussions and debates about the country and are cognizant of other citizens’ patriotism in other countries with respect. 

What is nationalism?

On the other hand, nationalism is an ideology that also has a deep pride and love for one’s country, no matter what. Nationalism is a sense of attachment and love for a country that is unconditional, so people do not recognise mistakes and shortcomings. Instead, they believe their country can do no wrong and will quickly be defensive in discussions and debates about it. “Patriotism nurtures a feeling of ‘responsibility’ in the citizens while nationalism breeds ‘blind arrogance’ or ignorance,” says India Today. 

What is the difference?

The ideologies both have very similar values at the core, however, the small difference of acknowledging one’s country can do wrong and thinking your country can do no wrong at all, is where we should draw the line between patriotism and nationalism. Unconditional love should not be reserved for countries, because as citizens it is important to hold your country accountable for their mistakes. That is patriotism, a responsibility to improve your country by holding the people in power accountable, no matter how hard it may be, so that the same things don’t happen again. Nationalism fails to do this because it overlooks valid criticisms as hate and believes that their country can do no wrong. Naturally, this belief system is harmful. 

What are some instances of this?

In the age of social media, and everyone has an opinion about everything going on, we have seen a lot of patriotism and nationalism being used interchangeably. However, as already highlighted, there is a large difference. 

The concept of “love jihad;” is the ideal Muslim men trick Hindu women into falling in love with them only to get the women to convert to Islam, as part of a larger war on India. This concept can easily be dispelled through countless amounts of real-life examples however, the concept is a product of nationalism being masked as patriotism. It uses the facade of being in the best interests of India and preserving “Indian/Hindu” ideals however it fails to notice that it is a discriminatory and Islamaphobic concept that is prejudiced towards Muslims. There is nothing patriotic about controlling who people fall in love with. This love-jihad concept is an extension of the Muslim-Hindu tensions in India, worsened by the people in power. The divide that is strengthening between Muslims and Hindus in the name of patriotism is just nationalism as it harms a large population of people. 

In conclusion, it is important that one is able to tell the difference between nationalism and patriotism, especially in today’s world, where we are constantly being challenged politically. Let’s keep unconditional love reserved for family and friends and not for our countries and governments.

Second Wave takes India by Storm – India’s Covid Chaos

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by Aahana Khemani

The COVID-19 pandemic, has once again struck fear everywhere. With states all over India breaking COVID-19 records, not only are the citizens petrified, but the government is too. From high COVID-19 records, oxygen shortages, to vaccine shortages, let us explore the unfortunate COVID-19 chaos in India, and see how we can help. 

According to ABP Live, on 28th April, 2021, India registered another high unfortunate record of 3.6 lakh cases in 24 hours. The number of COVID-19 cases have just been ascending over the month of April, 2021. Along with various austerities, this has led to multiple shortages.

COVID-19 mainly affects the lungs. Oxygen is required and an essential for the human body in an ordinary circumstance but more so when the lungs are being attacked. With the rise of COVID-19 cases, the number of available oxygen cylinders are declining. Prime Minister Modi was informed during a review meeting that the production has escalated from 5,700 MT per day during August 2020, to 8,922 MT on April 25th this year. However, it still doesn’t seem to be enough. 

It is no secret that states of India fear vaccine shortage. Shortages of the COVID-19 vaccines may disturb plans to immunize all adults, from May 1st. Punjab, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgrah spoke, saying they may not be able to meet the increased demand for vaccines due to the lack of proper manufacturing capacity at Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech International. In fact, even the current demand from people above the age of 45 years and healthcare and frontline workers getting vaccinated seems unsure and unlikely. Vaccines are one of the fundamentals needed to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic. If there are such vaccine shortages in a populated country like India, what is really the probability that India’s COVID-19 pandemic will end in the next 5-6 months? 

Last but certainly not least, hospitals in multiple states and cities are running out of beds. Due to this, some people have been strained into finding ways to treat unwell patients at home. This has also enforced some to turn to the black market, where prices of necessary medicines, oxygen cylinders, and concentrators have soared. Doubtful and questionable drugs are also increasing. Anshu Priya was unable to get a hospital bed in Delhi or surrounding suburbs such as Noida for her father in law. His condition kept on deteriorating. Most of her Sunday was spent looking for an oxygen cylinder, but her search remained vain. She was finally imposed to turn to the black market. She had to pay a large sum of money to buy a cylinder. Cylinders usually cost 6,000 rupees. However, she paid 50,000 rupees for it. Almost 9 times the amount! Her mother in law was additionally also struggling to breathe. Anshu Priya knew that she may not find or afford another cylinder on the black market. Left with hanging hopes, this is just one example of citizens in distress due to the shortage of cylinders. 

One might wonder, why is India facing such chaos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when there are so many countries that are not as distressed? Well, there are multiple aspects that go hand in hand. Firstly, the large population that leads to rising cases due to factors such as more coverage of spreading virus. Secondly, the economic situation which is not enabling India to freely purchase as many required supplies. A large part of the economic downfall could also be lockdown’s repercussions. Thirdly, other countries haven’t helped India as much as India has helped them. India extended help towards 150 other countries in a battle against COVID-19. While there are no doubt countries helping India, the number is a fraction compared to the number that India has helped. 

This is the scenario. However, you can help. Some of the ways in which you could help are supporting fundraisers such as Ketto pages. Or, you could even collect signatures and stand up for a cause you believe should be addressed, through petitions. Last but not least, follow COVID-19 protocols, which are quite known by now. Here’s a guide just in case. 

In conclusion, yes, India is facing COVID-19 chaos currently. But you could help. You could make a difference. Even if it seems as simple as sending a medical helpline number to a COVID-19 patient to contact medical staff. But it’s up to us, to make a difference. 

Can Mumbai Become A Sustainable City?

The Ascent Claims no Ownership over this image.

By Arjun Mehrotra and Neel Tripathi

While Mumbai is a beautiful city, with many pull factors when it comes to settlement, we think that according to the sustainable rubric mumbai is not a sustainable city, due to a multitude of reasons including poverty, littering, corruption, imports for a lot of resources, and a  lack of government initiative.

Mumbai’s lakes and water bodies are polluted as well as the roads (according to Hindustan times). The dust on roads in Mumbai makes up a big part of the overall pollution. The Mithi river is an example of this pollution. . Earth5r shows this river which is right outside our own school, many roads will be full of trash, compare this to a place like Singapore which is still a small city-state/island but is sustainable and has practically no trash, the difference is unsettling. Even with people like Afroz Shah helping clean up the river it would take a long time to make a difference.

Poverty is another major factor in Mumbai affecting the financial sustainability level as not all people have equal job opportunities. Dharavi is an epicentre of poverty and shows what housing is like for 50% of Mumbai’s population. According to money in Mumbai follows a bell curve, with the top 2% making almost 80 percent of the income in mumbai.

Due to the growing population in Mumbai, as it is the financial hub of Mumbai, many nearby forests are being converted into urban land like factories, or homes for people. The problem with this is that it is not a sustainable system, having to take over more forests to keep the rising population with homes. This cannot go on. The government does not keep sustainability intact and shifts in power continue the destruction of the environment for the growing population. This is because of government officials with different views, Devendra Fadnavis wanted to cut down arrey forest and once it was done, Udhav Thackeray, the new minister, wanted to review the project and shut it down, leaving the trees already cut. 

A counterargument is that the government and many people are working on fixing this. Working on it will help right now but not in the long term With how big of a city Mumbai is, there is no way all of these problems can be solved in under a decade. 

These challenges are going to keep occuring  unless India educates 20 million people, since people are still going to be throwing trash in the ocean, still littering the seas, still being corrupt and there is not enough money for the government to change that. However, many initiatives like the metro, are working towards the goal. People like Afroz Shah are taking the responsibility of cleaning up mumbai and if we want to make mumbai sustainable, we should help too.

In conclusion, Mumbai will not become a sustainable city for a long time and has a lot of problems. However, once we fix these problems Mumbai has a prosperous future ahead, especially considering its location, foreign involvement, and its position as a trading hub for many countries. 

P.S- Do not forget that all of these problems are not terrible, there are many organizations devoted to solving these problems and make sure to give them credit too 😀 We hope Mumbai and even India as a whole becomes sustainable.

Bihar’s Step Towards COVID-19 Decline

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by Aahana Khemani

Bihar, a state in India has been impacted by COVID-19 like many other. As of 8th February 2021, the recovery rate in Bihar touched a whopping 99.09%! The total number of COVID-19 infected patients became 2,61,299. Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar said that Bihar will provide free vaccination to the citizens of the entire state! 

The provision was over a political poll. While releasing the BJP parties’ Bihar election proclamation, Nirmala Sitharaman, finance minister of India, stated that free vaccines would be provided to the citizens of Bihar. Other parties such as Congress threatened to hit the streets if the BJP failed to deliver their claims in their poll manifesto. 

This initiative does have multiple positive effects. First of all, the vaccinations have a promising chance of curing a majority of COVID-19 patients. It will also save citizens of Bihar from spending too much money and provide a free treatment, hopefully, if the vaccination alone works throughout. Furthermore, considering the COVID-19 recovery rate in Bihar as of early February, 2021, it seems as if the COVID 19 pandemic is declining in Bihar and therefore, as many vaccinations will not be needed, saving the government on having to spend too big of a budget on free vaccination. 

In conclusion, this initiative can definitely have a positive effect on its citizens, while being comparatively budget friendly, as analysed as of 8th February, 2021. Hopefully, the recovery rate comparatively increases worldwide, minimizing and ultimately majorly declining the COVID-19 pandemic! 

The Story of Disha Ravi, The 22 Year Old Who Was Accused of Sedition for a Tweet.

Image Via The News Minute
Image Via The News Minute

By Pritha Nag

On February 14 2021, Disha Ravi a 22-year-old activist got arrested for sedition (the act of inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch) and has been accused of creating and sharing a google document that incites and encourages violence. The Google document was a toolkit that helped and supported the farmers, in the ongoing protests taking place in India. The case has several different names but is commonly being referred to as the “toolkit case”. Many believe that the international community and “anti-nationalists” are plotting a conspiracy against India. 

The Google document was a toolkit where the aim was to help with the current farmer’s protests that have been going on in India for the past couple of months. Farmers (and others) have been protesting out on the streets in Delhi in retaliation to the three new farm bills that the government had announced and passed. Farmers are furious over these three new bills as they believe they will be exploited and cheated. The government has offered to put the bills on hold, but the farmers want the bills gone altogether. 

Disha Ravi is a 22-year-old climate change activist, who lives in Bengaluru, India. She is the founder of Fridays For Future India, which is a strike that is held every Friday for students to skip school and protest against the lack of climate action. She was arrested on February 14th 2021, on the charges of “Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.” She has also been accused of having pro-Khalistani connections. A connection that is looked down upon having, due to the large amounts of controversy surrounding the topic. Pro Khalistani is (in simplest terms) a Sikh movement wanting to create a separate land for Sikhs by making a sovereign state. The state would have both Indian and Pakistani land. 

Ravi is being accused of being a key conspirator in the making of the document and sharing it with 18-year-old climate change activist, Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is yet to comment on the situation. Ravi said in court that she only edited two lines of the document, and “I was just supporting the farmers. I supported the farmers because they are our future and we all need to eat.” She said before breaking down in the courtroom and then was sent to five days in police custody. Many have taken to social media to express how they feel with one volunteer of Fridays for Future saying in a tweetCan anyone please let me know what is seditious in that toolkit?” With others saying that it was just a toolkit, and to imply that it was a conspiracy is baseless. 

On February 23rd Ravi was granted bail by the Delhi court. The court granted bail but expressed that there was “scanty” and “sketchy” proof to back the sedition charges. The judge concluded that Ravi had no Pro-Khalistani connections and there was no evidence linking her to the violence that occurred on Republic Day. The judge added that one cannot be put behind bars for simply disagreeing with the government. The court turned down the policies that claimed that Ravi supported violence and secession. Ravi was granted bail by Article 19 (the right of freedom), and added on saying freedom of speech and expressing one’s self includes the right to branch out to a global audience. 

Ravi’s arrest has sparked national and international talk about youth activism, democracy, the farmers’ protest and India’s government. The ongoing farmer’s protests have sparked and started many conversations amongst the youth, and Ravi was not an exception. Many want Ravi freed immediately, with Jairam Ramesh, a former minister saying Ravi’s arrest is “completely atrocious”. The world is watching to see what will happen next to India, and we just like the others are left wondering, what’s next to come? 

The Power of Technology and Human Compassion.

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by Tara Hebbar and Diya Barmecha

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, 5th January, four fishermen were supposedly sunk after their boat withstood a lot of damage. They were ultimately saved by a 19-year-old and his drone. The main reason for this damage was the high tide in the sea at the time. There were rescue attempts conducted by 80 other fishermen but they were all in vain. These fishermen between the ages of 50-60 went out to sea at 4 am. There was worry all across the Nattika beach in Thrissur. This was an unlikely incident.  

19 year old Devang Subil heard about the situation since he was on the beach as well and approached the rescue team and fishermen about using his drone to locate the missing fishermen. He was instantaneously dismissed by them due to it being considered a “serious situation,” and the drone considered “a children’s toy.” Little did they know, this “children’s toy” would help save 4 lives. When the MLA, Geetha Gopi became aware of his idea, however, she considered it a great one and found a way to get Devang on a rescue boat along with his drone. 

The first fisherman was clinging onto a fishing pot when the drone caught sight of him, the other two were just 300 meters away. He was able to locate them using the drones camera that displayed the feed on his phone. The fourth one, however, was rescued last and was on the verge of drowning with exhaustion once they had reached him. He lost consciousness minutes after his rescue. The fishermen were afloat on the sea by hanging onto plastic buckets and tanks. The four fishermen are at a hospital in Thrissur receiving their needed treatments. After this successful search mission, the Kerala Fishing Boat Operator’s Association said that it was the first time a drone was used to save fishermen and they would like to deploy some drones in case of other emergencies like this one. Subil added to this by saying, “It is a cheap medium of rescue. Usually we press helicopters and speed boats into service for such search operations. But this is very cost effective.”

The MLA, Geetha Gopi stated, “We salute the youngster whose timely intervention saved four lives. He showed us how new innovations can help save lives. I have already approached the government with a suggestion to honour him.” 

This instance is just one of several that indicates the growing presence of technology in our lives. Even though it is often criticized, this is an example of how it can be used to save lives. While technology does have its pros and cons, when technology is used right, it can get humanity access to experiences, and sights which couldn’t be dreamed of before. It can be utilized to give so many better lifestyles and provide many with opportunities far beyond their reach, at one point. We should search for situations like this, which make us realize not only the power of technology but also the power of human kindness.

Raise In Poverty


by Aahana Khemani

Research shows that $35 billion are needed to deter widespread famine, fight poverty, and keep children in school. Over this year, there has been a 40% increase in the number of people needing help. The COVID 19 pandemic is expanding the number of people who need humanitarian assistance to survive. This is drastically increasing the rates of extreme poverty in just one year. 

The UN reported in its Global Humanitarian Overview 2021, that one in every 33 people, will need assistance to meet fundamental needs such as food, water, and sanitation. That’s approximately 235 million people worldwide, with focus on countries such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. “The crisis is far from over” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.“Humanitarian aid budgets face dire shortfalls as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen.” He continued. 

Multiple countries also came to aid by giving a record $17 billion in 2020 for collective humanitarian response. This money reached around 70% of the targeted people. The UN stated that this money that is raised is less than half of the needed $35 billion to deter widespread famine, fight poverty, and keep children in school.“The rich world can now see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock in a statement. “The same is not true in the poorest countries.”

As the pandemic continues delaying food systems, the hunger rate is noticeably ascending. Food is one of the most needed resources for one to survive, and if something is not done about the hunger during this pandemic, many will starve. The UN forecasted that by the end of 2020, around 270 million people will lack reliable access to food, considering the cost of meeting food aid this year rose to $9 billion from $5 billion in 2015. 

We as a global community need to hold hands and support the 1in 33 people who need humanitarian aid. Whether it be through monetary donations, or voluntary time donations. People in poverty need to have access to basic necessities such as food, water, sanitation & hygiene, healthcare facilities, etc. Without which, millions of peoples’ lives’ will be in danger. 


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